‘Academic knowledge must translate into successful businesses’ – author and UP alumnus Dr Mpho Nenweli

Posted on May 28, 2024

University of Pretoria (UP) alumnus Dr Mpho Nenweli is thrilled to have published his second book, titled Succeed in Business, in which he hopes to inspire academics to see the value in turning their innovative ideas into businesses.

Dr Nenweli graduated from UP with a master’s in Environment and Society in 2022, and has been running his businesses full time since 2012. His businesses include two environmental management consulting firms, a construction firm and a four-star guesthouse in Limpopo. 

“In this book, I share the painful lessons I have learnt and the failures that shaped me in order to help people who are starting businesses to avoid these pitfalls,” he says. “The book is a must-have for entrepreneurs who want to avoid wasting money, gain strength and stay focused in building sustainable small enterprises that can create sustainable jobs and uplift South Africa’s struggling economy.”

He adds that the biggest challenge is to convert failure into motivation – to see failure as an inevitable pathway to success. With this book, he hopes to provide entrepreneurs with real-life experiences on how to start a business, and to illuminate the potential challenges and opportunities for small businesses in South Africa.

“The book tells the story of how many times I’ve failed, but I’m still running successful businesses and employing people, because I refused to give up.”

For Dr Nenweli, academia and research must be linked with entrepreneurship so that novel ideas can bring about businesses that are innovative and sustainable. He hopes the book will emphasise that there is value in using academic success to start businesses. He believes business needs people who are educated and skilled to innovate in order to change the world.

“Knowledge in academia must be translated into successful businesses as much as possible,” he says. “UP must create an environment where business start-ups can operate and draw on academic knowledge to form businesses. The book also points out that small businesses can be started with minimal resources, so there is no reason to postpone starting a business.”  

Dr Nenweli says his UP qualification gave him immense environmental management knowledge, making him highly competitive and employable.

“When I decided to go for my master’s, I was struggling to get work, regardless of the other qualifications I had from other institutions,” he recalls. “I highly recommend UP because it is one of the best academic institutions in South Africa. It strives to be among the best in institutions of higher learning in the world. It is also internationally known for its academic rigour, groundbreaking research and excellence.”

Dr Nenweli’s first book is a collection of poems that was published in 2022 and was approved by the Gauteng Department of Education to be read in Grade 12.

His books are available on Takealot, and at Exclusive Books and Bargain Books. For more information and to place an order, contact Dr Nenweli on 082 567 3099.

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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